Home builders pleased as some activities set to resume

By Jenn Watt

The provincial government’s decision to allow some construction activities to resume was good news for the Haliburton County Home Builders’ Association which issued a press release on Friday May 1 praising the decision.

“Building new homes and communities is a long complicated process and requires different construction activities over a number of seasons” Keith Thomas president of the local home builders’ association said. “Losing the entire construction season for site servicing would be setting our local housing supply back and risk the homes that our clients are looking to move into next year. Under the new provincial guidelines we will continue to deliver homes safely today and in the future.”

As of May 4 the province is permitting work to resume in several areas including site preparation excavation and servicing for institutional commercial industrial and residential development.

Those activities had previously ceased as a precaution to limit the potential spread of COVID-19.

The home builders’ association said earthworks and site grading allow for physical distancing as each operator is in their own machine and noted that site grading is essential to every construction site.

“In addition the decision allows for site and land-servicing projects to commence or continue new residential industrial commercial and institutional developments. Underground servicing the installation of stormwater controls water pipes sanitary sewer pipes road construction including curbs and sidewalk landscape works trails parks and utilities (telecommunications water gas electricity etc.) are necessary for the activation of new homes and eventual occupancy” the press release states.

“We are allowing certain businesses to reopen under strict guidelines because we are confident they can operate safely and adapt to the current environment” Premier Doug Ford said in an announcement Friday. “While further reductions in the spread are needed before we can begin reopening the province we have the right framework and the right workplace guidelines in place to do so gradually and safely.”

Sixty guidelines have been established to help employers reopen workplaces safely to protect workers customers and the public according to the government.

The home builders said the industry supports shuttering any site not respecting the Ministry of Labour’s guidelines for construction site health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We all want safe job sites” said Joe Vaccaro Ontario Home Builders Association CEO. “Adding these new construction activities along with new provincial COVID-19 health and safety guidelines means members will continue to focus on worker safety while delivering keys to the thousands of families waiting for their homes to be completed. We can keep each other safe while delivering housing supply across Ontario.”

Other work permitted to resume as of May 4: